PCC Preparing to Host SkillsUSA Regional Rally on Campus

Sparks fly as a PCC student practices his welding technique.

WINTERVILLE—The Pitt Community College campus will be brimming with more activity than usual next month, when high school students from throughout eastern North Carolina come out for the 2023 SkillsUSA North Carolina East Regional Rally.

PCC is hosting the annual demonstration of career and technical education skills on March 3. Approximately 500 students, including those participating in the PCC-Pitt County Schools Technical Academy, are expected take part in the event. They’ll compete against one another in everything from welding and automotive repair to robotics and crime scene analysis.

“The SkillsUSA rally is a great way for PCC to support career and technical education in our region and showcase all that the college has to offer in terms of programming, facilities, equipment and knowledgeable instructors,” said Crystal Boseman, administrative assistant for Pitt’s Electrical Systems & Horticulture Technology departments. “It’s an opportunity for us to host students, families and high school advisors from all over eastern North Carolina that we may not have been able to reach otherwise.”

Boseman, who is helping organize this year’s rally, says the event will feature around 55 competitions in a number of trades, including engineering, cosmetology, drafting, emergency medical science, carpentry, electrical systems and photography. There will also be leadership and speaking competitions, she said, along with debates, display and design contests, and a quiz bowl.

“SkillsUSA competitions are designed around the organization’s framework, which teaches students multiple personal, workplace and technical skills,” Boseman said. “Students must bring a resume with them to the event, and competition guidelines require them to wear the proper uniform for their respective area of competition, including any personal protection equipment required for safety.”

Boseman says the competitions give students opportunities to build networks they would not normally have, adding, “winners receive prizes, but they also gain confidence in their field—and that is priceless.”

PCC faculty and staff will utilize a rubric and apply national standards to judge the day’s competitions. Representatives from SkillsUSA NC will be on hand to provide assistance, if necessary. Personnel from Winterville Fire Department will assist with the rally’s firefighting competition.

The opening ceremony for this year’s event is set for 9 a.m. in the Charles Coburn Center. Competitions will begin at 9:30 a.m. and take place in various locations throughout campus.

“We are hoping that students not only take away confidence in their technical skill, but also learn valuable leadership skills that they will use the rest of their lives,” Boseman says. “We also hope that they will see PCC a vital option for their higher educational needs.”

Started in 1965, SkillsUSA is a partnership between students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The non-profit student organization, formerly known as Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, provides educational programs, events and competitions that support career and technical education in the nation’s classrooms.